After some nasty recent incidents – two involving dogs and puff adders, and one with a farmer who only ever calls after he has killed a snake on his property – Mr Saleem of SSY Auto on Strandfontein Road, Ottery, not only made my day but brought a smile to my face.
His calm and smart actions saved this snake’s life. When I asked him how he got the Cape cobra into the bottle, he shrugged his shoulders, smiled and said “I just got it in there”. Nice. This man clearly understands snakes and used what he could to capture this animal so that it could be moved to safety. I was so impressed that I felt the need to thank him, but he just brushed the gratitude off with a wry smile and told me that he loves snakes. Refreshingly nice.
[covertplayersinglevideo trvideoid=”VjR2seo8Veo” trdisplaytype=”5″ trnumbervideosdisplay=”” trvideoperpage=”36″ trthumbnailwidth=”200″ trthumbnailheight=”150″ trpopupwidth=”600″ trpopupheight=”350″ trvideoalign=”left” trytautohide=”0″ trytautoplay=”0″ trytcontrols=”0″ trytrelvideo=”0″ trytshowlogo=”1″ trytshowtitle=”0″ tryttheme=”dark” trythighquality=”0″]It had been raining most of the day which is not the ideal weather for releasing a reptile so I took the snake home much to the hesitation of my wonderfully understanding girlfriend. Amy’s OK with it as long as she doesn’t have to deal with, or see, the snakes I bring home.
I kept the snake for two days while waiting for the rain to stop. Snakes are happy as long as they have somewhere to hide. As snakes rely on external environment to regulate their own body temperature I wanted to make sure that I only released this little serpent on a warm sunny day to give it the best chance of survival.
I released the snake not far from where it was collected and placed it on the sand near a patch of indigenous vegetation. The snake was on top form; standing up tall and hooding for some time. I hid behind a bush for about 15 minutes hoping to glimpse it moving off naturally but it just stayed in the same position. So I decided rather to move it to some cover, out of the direct view of any hungry raptors which may have been flying overhead.
Once next to the shrubbery I moved off, the cobra basked in the sun for a while before disappearing into the bushes. It’s such a great sight to see an animal being set free unharmed. And it all started with a conscientious man who simply likes snakes. Mr Saleem, we salute you!